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We outsourced free speech to the wrong guys

ACCORDING to Fionola Meredith (DebateNI, May 23), the words of Pastor James McConnell are dangerous, as they could be used to justify further hatred and attacks.

A Belfast Islamic Centre representative said he would be holding the pastor "responsible for any racial attacks on any Muslim in Northern Ireland".

It's good to know that mainstream media outlets are at the forefront not of freedom of speech (no matter how blunt and crude), but of the Orwellian concept of 'hate crime' and 'hate speech'.

These are the new Puritans, who are more comfortable inviting the police and politicians to regulate opinion than to support the free market of ideas and expression.

TOM RAKEWELL

Newtownards, Co Down

Belfast Telegraph

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